Indonesia’s most volatile volcano began erupting again today, sending plumes of hot ash and rocks high into the air.
Thousands of residents living along the slopes of Mount Merapi in the south of the country were evacuated, hours after the mountain’s alert level was raised to the highest level.
Subandriyo, chief vulcanologist in the area, said that after hours of rumbling and groaning, the volcano started to erupt just before dusk.
In 2006, an avalanche of blistering gases and rock fragments raced down the volcano and killed two people.
A similar eruption in 1994 killed 60 people, and 1,300 people died in a 1930 blast.
Scientists have warned that pressure building beneath Merapi's lava dome could trigger one of the most powerful blasts in years.
Most who have already fled were the elderly and children, while adults stayed to tend to homes and farms on the mountain’s fertile slopes.